The Federal Government says it has enough COVID-19 vaccines and is expecting more to help mitigate the spread of the disease.
Secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and chairman, presidential steering committee on COVID-19 Boss Mustapha stated this in his keynote address at the fifth annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP) in Lagos on Thursday.
The SGF was represented by the executive director and CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib.
“We have enough vaccines, and we are expecting more. The vaccination efforts led by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency has been hailed as one of the best globally by the World Health Organization,” he said.
“We believe that, just as we combated the virus, the vaccination program will ensure that every Nigerian gets access to life-saving commodities. Let me restate this here and now that COVID-19 is not a death sentence. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Let us all put our hands to the pump as we begin the Recovery and Reconstruction.”
Mr Mustapha itemized some of the strategies being executed to ensure the country recovers after the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also praised the media for a job well done in the reporting of COVID-19 pandemic related events, stressing that it was important for the same media to begin the recovery and reconstruction process from itself.
Some of the measures being taken to contain the spread of infection include:
Establishment of sample collection centres in all LGAs, ramping up sample collection to at least 500/week and establishing linkages to testing laboratories and clinical care centres;
Intense training of disease surveillance and notification officers (DSNOs) in order to strengthen the COVID-19 surveillance system at the district level;
Heightening of vigilance at Nigeria’s points of entry, particularly the airports, to minimize the risk of importation of new cases into the country, including health screening, testing negative to COVID-19 at least 72hrs before commencing the journey to Nigeria and a second test on the seventh day of arrival.
Successfully ensuring that Nigerians were not banned from visiting any country of their choice nor were foreign nationals banned from visiting Nigeria.
Repositioning the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to command national operations, with the Nigeria field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Program (NFELTP) of the federal ministry of health serving as the backbone of our national epidemic preparedness and response.
Building back better health systems, such as national oxygen plan with the construction of 42 new oxygen plants and the repair of at least 18 such plants.
Economic stimulus measures/fiscal policies, with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) introducing new measures on loans, moratorium and debt repayment, including 1-year extension of a moratorium on principal repayments for CBN intervention facilities; reduction of the interest rate on intervention loans from 9% to 5% and; strengthening of the loan to deposit ratio policy, in addition to a N50 billion target credit facility floated for household and small and medium enterprises to help re-grow the economy.